Sabato, 23 Febbraio, 2019

Ronaldo's Portugal held by Mexico at Confed Cup

Parmenio Sano | 19 Giugno, 2017, 06:15

European champions, Portugal had to settle for a point against Mexico, as the two nations played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in their FIFA Confederations Cup tie.

Mexico started the better side but were undone when Cristiano Ronaldo set up Ricardo Quaresma to break the deadlock, and it looked as though Javier Hernandez's header would not be enough for a point as Cedric Soares' deflected strike restored Portugal's advantage.

Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in five games with Portugal this season. "Through that we will run less and defend less, so I think my teammates will be fired up to play a good game", ESPN quoted Salcedo as saying.

Having threatened with a header earlier, Hernandez stole in to head home an equaliser three minutes from the interval.

The result leaves both sides tied for second place in Group A, behind hosts Russian Federation who top the group after beating New Zealand 2-0 on Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Selecao had the ball in the back of the net after 20 minutes through Pepe, but the Video Assistant Referee deemed the goal offside just moments before Ronaldo had struck the crossbar.

Russian Federation are next up for Portugal in Moscow's Spartak Stadium on Wednesday, while Mexico face New Zealand in Sochi on the same day.

Hector Moreno denied the European champions the win but certainly gave Federation Internationale de Football Association something to celebrate.

But personally, it's fantastic how he didn't succeed at Arsenal, so maybe this is a sign that Carlitos Vela, with 56 caps and 17 goals for his country, can make another statement on the world stage.

Andre Silva, the 21-year-old forward who is about to make his debut in a major tournament with Portugal, has been successfully teaming up with Ronaldo to give the European champions an impressive attacking force entering the Confederations Cup.

Portugal won 2-1 the only time it faced Mexico in an official match, in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"We have to win, because if we win the next game we will be one step away from qualifying".

Group B would begin with the same scoreline, as Copa America winners Chile saw off the challenge of African champions Cameroon at the Otkritie Arena in Moscow.

"I stand by Ronaldo's character and integrity, both as a man and as an athlete", said Santos, who coached Ronaldo when the player was a teenager in Portugal before leaving to play for Manchester United.

"My conscience is quite clear", Ronaldo said Wednesday as he walked from a Portugal team bus into Lisbon airport on his way to Russian Federation. Raphael Guerreiro miskicked a cross into the box, allowing Carlos Vela to play the ball back in for Hernandez to score.


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